First Presenter's Institution

Kennesaw State University

Second Presenter's Institution

Chelsea Wood

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Ballroom E

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Two important teacher education program transformations taking place at universities across the country are foci on education for social justice and the role that field experiences play in support of this effort.

By enabling future teachers' participation in field experiences that allow for interaction with various types of communities, they are more likely to "plan and implement literacy instruction that promotes social justice and critical engagement with complex issues related to maintaining a diverse, inclusive, equitable society" in their own classrooms (NCTE Standard VI, Element 1). This practice will not only foster social and emotional skills and the social climate for the future students of these teachers, it will help to promote cultural diversity, enable student empowerment, encourage student leadership skills, and bolster character education and self-esteem (Strand II).

The inclusion of social justice instruction in classrooms will also help to develop and enhance family and community support as evidenced by the Up To You program created by a recent graduate of this experience, in which students participate in brainstorming, planning, and implementing ideas to provide resources for nonprofits and charitable causes, addressing causes like hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and human trafficking.

Brief Program Description

The presentation will engage participants in discussion describing how a university teacher education program and the schools it serves collaborates through community partnerships to teach and model action for social justice. Research, instructional strategies, and practical examples will demonstrate ways to advocate for the inclusion of social justice in classrooms.

Summary

The presenters will engage participants in discussion on how university teacher education programs and the schools they serve can collaborate through community partnerships to teach and model action for social justice that will support students in high risk settings. Utilizing research, classroom tested instructional techniques, and practical examples, the presenters will advocate for the inclusion of social justice in all classrooms.

The presenters will discuss how social justice is conceived by the education program and how it can be integrated into field-based practice. Specific examples of how teachers prepare teacher candidates to think with a social justice perspective throughout their coursework will be provided. Finally, a former program graduate will detail how her teacher education program experience motivated her to create a student organization, Up To You, that mentors middle grade students to become more aware and take action for social justice by championing them to serve others in high risk settings. The organization's vision statement reads: "Up To You vows to bring to light the dark atrocities that occur in the world regardless of development. The goal is to understand the root of the problem and create a culture within schools that extends far past the campus. Awareness will meet action as students actually do something now about injustice. As teachers, we will lead these students to the best of our ability, but at the end of the day, the future belongs to kids that walk the hallways of the school. Together we will be a force for change." Students participate in brainstorming, planning, and implementing ideas to provide resources for nonprofits and charitable causes. Topics the organization has tackled include hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and human trafficking.

Evidence

The ability of United States university-based teacher education programs to produce educators ready to meet the challenges of 21st century schooling has been closely scrutinized (Lewin, 2011). Teacher education faces an urgent responsibility to transform its curriculum, pedagogy, structure, and delivery to better prepare future teachers to negotiate the changing landscape in educational practices that influence K–12 classrooms (Boyle-Baise & McIntyre, 2008; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Fullerton & Ruben, 2011; Grossman & McDonald, 2008).

The benefits of community-based experiences include multicultural understandings (Sleeter, 2000); development of an ethic of care (Noddings, 1984); and the acquisition of a broad, relational view of education rather than a deficit view (Boyle-Baise & McIntyre, 2008). We have found that education in social justice has enabled our students increase their leadership and interpersonal skills, their understandings of social justice, their ability to problem solve, and their desire to continue working in the community setting after their course of study is complete.

Open discussion is crucial to us. Gorski, Zenhow, Osei-Koti, and Sapp (2013) assert there is a great deal of scholarship about critical issues, but little scholarship on how to teach these concepts. We want to generate discussion in this area. This presentation will draw upon Giroux’s (2010) critique of media; Comber’s (2001) work with everyday texts and popular culture; Janks’ (2001) efforts to ground critical language study within the curriculum; the work of Harste et al. (2000) advocating the use of social issues books to initiate critical conversations; and the four dimensions framework of Lewison, Flint, and VanSluys (2002) to shape understandings of critical literacy.

References

Boyle-Baise, M. & McIntyre, D. (2008) What kind of experience? Preparing teachers in PDS or community settings. In M. Cochran-Smith (ed.). Handbook of research of teacher education: Enduring questions in changing contexts (pp. 346 – 368). New York: Routledge.

Comber, B. (2001). Negotiating critical literacies. School Talk, 6(3), 1–3.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Fullerton, A., & Ruben, B., (2011). Development and design of a merged secondary and special education teacher preparation program. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38(2), 27–44.

Grossman, P., & McDonald, M. (2008). Back to the future: Directions for research in teaching and teacher education. American Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 184–205.

Giroux, H. A., & Pollock, G. (2010). The mouse that roared: Disney and the end of innocence. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Gorski, P. C., Zenkov, K., Osei-Kofi, N., & Sapp, J. (Eds.). (2013). Cultivating social justice teachers: How teacher educators have helped students overcome cognitive bottlenecks and learn critical social justice concepts. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Harste, J. C., Breau, A., Leland, C., Lewison, M., Ociepka, A., & Vasquez, V. (2000). Supporting critical conversations. In K. M. Pierce (Ed.), Adventuring with books (pp. 506–554). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Janks, H. (2001). Identity and conflict in the critical literacy classroom. In B. Comber & A. Simpson (Eds.), Negotiating critical literacies in classrooms (pp. 137–150). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Lewin, T. (2011, July 21). Training of teachers is flawed, study says. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/education/21teaching.html

Lewison, M., Flint, A. S., & Van Sluys, K. (2002). Taking on critical literacy: The journey of newcomers and novices. Language Arts, 79, 382–392.

NCTE Teacher Standards. (2012).

Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: a feminine approach to ethics and moral education. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Paulsen, K. (2008). School-based collaboration: An introduction to the collaboration column. Intervention in Schools & Clinics, 43(5), 313-315.

Sleeter, C. (2000). Strengthening multicultural education with community-based service learning. In C. O’Grady (ed.), Integrating service learning and multicultural education in colleges and universities (pp. 263– 276). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Bryan Gillis is an Associate Professor of English Education and Literacy in the Secondary and Middle Grades Education (SMGE) Department at Kennesaw State University. Bryan began his career as a counselor and teacher in a juvenile correctional facility in Arizona. He then taught elementary, middle, and high school students for 22 years in a Title I district in Phoenix, Arizona. During that time, Bryan served as an academic coach (3 years) and Title I Coordinator (2 years) as well as a special education and regular classroom teacher. Upon earning his PhD. from Arizona State University, Bryan moved to Kennesaw State University and has now been a teacher educator for nine years. In addition to instructing teacher preparation courses, Bryan served as the Clinical Experience Coordinator for SMGE (2009-2012 and 2014-2016). Bryan is the director of the Kennesaw State University Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults, the editor of ALAN Picks, an online young adult literature review site, and has co-authored two books, Chris Crutcher: A Stotan for Young Adults and Sexual Content in Young Adult Literature: Reading between the Sheets. His publications have appeared in Teacher Education Quarterly, Voices from the Middle, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, ALAN Review, and Signal Journal.

Chelsea Wood is the community engagement program coordinator at the international hunger relief organization Stop Hunger Now. Previously, she was a 7th grade social studies teacher in Paulding County, GA. During the 2015-2016 school year, she founded the "Up To You" program in the Paulding county school system. The club is a service driven movement striving to bring awareness to local, regional, and global injustices and inspiring students to respond with action. Chelsea is still a community sponsor of the club at East Paulding Middle School.

Keyword Descriptors

social justice, teacher preparation, community-based field experiences, student leadership, social skills

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-6-2017 10:30 AM

End Date

3-6-2017 11:45 AM

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Mar 6th, 10:30 AM Mar 6th, 11:45 AM

Teaching and Modeling Social Justice in University Teacher Education Programs and the Communities They Serve

Ballroom E

The presentation will engage participants in discussion describing how a university teacher education program and the schools it serves collaborates through community partnerships to teach and model action for social justice. Research, instructional strategies, and practical examples will demonstrate ways to advocate for the inclusion of social justice in classrooms.